Blog by Nikki Butler of Nikki Butler Skin Clinic
What is the best facial scar treatment? Well, that really depends on so many factors – and it’s not just about the end result.
There are a number of treatments that are amazing for facial scars, and in fact, all scars. But there any many other considerations that come into play when we are looking at the right scar treatments for you.
As a Skin Specialist, I have access to the best scar treatments available, including fractional laser, IPL, chemical skin peels, microneedling and RF microneedling. But despite having access to the best facial scar treatments available today, it’s only recently that I have started to really treat my facial scar. I’m going to share my story below, in the hope that it helps you to know that you can share your story with me, and my clinic is a safe space for you. We will work together to find the best scar treatments for you, on all levels.
My Previously Untold Scar Story
I’ve always said that scars are so much more than what you can see. It’s why I have such a passion for scar work. I’ve been very open about my knee scars, but I’ve really never shared the story of my facial scar before. Why? Because there’s a story behind it, and it’s a painful one for me.
When I was 11 I was hit by a car. I sustained multiple injuries, including a fractured spine, a smashed pelvis and this scar, worthy of 22 stitches. I lost most of the skin on my forehead, so it took the skill of an exceptional army surgeon to piece me back together again. I remember being wheeled backwards through hospital doors and kept away from mirrors for days, so that I couldn’t see the mess that was my face. I’d also lost the skin off my chin, nose and forehead, in a spectacular gravel graze.
The emotion for me comes from the circumstances that surround my accident. I remember it like it was yesterday, and it was 35 years ago. I was going to meet friends that didn’t show up – they didn’t’ bother to tell me. For this, I felt anger for a long time. It took ages for me to forgive, but eventually I did.
Then the worse bit. My mum and 10 year old sister found me at the top of the road of where we lived, laying in a pool of blood and crumpled on the floor. My sister ran back home screaming for help and an ambulance – being the one to tell my Dad and Grandma what had happened. My mum, well she was left to walk over and find out if her daughter was still alive. This traumatic event still haunts my mum, she had years of nightmares and her blood still runs cold at the sound of an ambulance nearby. I cannot tell you the guilt and shame I have felt for years over this.
The accident wasn’t my fault. A lady was driving on the wrong side of the road, looking back at her grandchildren in the rear seats. She didn’t see me, so she claimed. More anger, a LOT of anger.
My scars on my forehead run much deeper than what you can see. In fact, most people tell me they can’t even see them, but I know they are there, and I have hated them. I remember asking my GP for a skin graft in my teens, for him to tell me it ‘wasn’t worth it’, as it wouldn’t make much difference. I have always had a fringe and covered it with makeup, I just didn’t want to have to explain where it came from. I still feel very emotional thinking about it now, even as I write I keep welling up with tears, mostly over the guilt I feel for what my family went through. There’s a much bigger story about the overwhelming impact on my life, but that’s maybe for another time!
And then, even with the best facial scar treatment options available, I didn’t jump in and treat it when I knew I could – the opposite of my gung-ho approach to my knee scarring. My knee has had every available scar treatment thrown at it, without a care in the world. So why was my facial scar so different? It was just too painful. I didn’t want to see it, shining like a beacon, whilst I recovered from my treatment. So I stuck to chemical skin peels and low level treatments that helped, but didn’t have the results I really wanted, or knew I could get.
Recently I have started treating my scarring with RF Microneedling, and I’ll explain more below about why now is the right time for me. We all find the right time to treat our scars, and the triggers vary wildly.
Why I’ve chosen now to treat my facial scar
It’s all about finding MY best facial scar treatment. 35 years later! So, what’s inspired me? Well, the honesty and story sharing of my clients has certainly inspired me. And the truth is, that I really want to be able to wear my hair in an 80’s style quiff and not care about covering my scar up with makeup all the time!
Finding the right treatment has also played a part. I’ve know for years that that microneedling was the best possible treatment for scarring – it always has been, in my opinion. I didn’t do it before, because standard microneedling looks pretty unpleasant straight afterwards, and for a couple of weeks after each treatment.
But, along came radiofrequency microneedling, and that’s a different story altogether. The power of microneedling, amplified with radiofrequency (heat), which improves the results AND speeds up healing – with less down time. It meant I felt that I could face what I’d see in the mirror afterwards, which allowed me to be brave and treat my scars! I have to tell you, I felt a little nauseous treating it for the first time – anxious about how it would look. I needn’t have worried though, it was a walk in the park compared to what my poor knee has been through!
Lets talk RF Microneedling!
For me, this is the best facial scar treatment available today. It’s a powerhouse of a treatment, but the downtime is so minimal and the healing time is very quick. I am also not left looking at bright red scarring, or experiencing any residual discomfort.
RF Microneedling is the antiaging facial treatment of the hour, but it is also incredible for scarring. RF Microneedling is collagen induction therapy, at it’s finest. The combination of microneedles causing tiny punctures within your skin, prompting your skin to enter ‘healing’ mode, combined with the thermal trauma of radiofrequency, breaks down old ‘faulty’ collagen from the scar. It also encourages fresh collagen and elastin, plus triggers your melanocytes, which are the cells in your skin that produce melanin to give you your natural skin tone.
The overall result is that scars are less visible and skin quality is improved, with very little downtime. Perfect for me! I’ll keep you posted on the results, as I’ll be doing 3-5 treatments, 4 weeks apart. I’ve just done my second treatment. So excited to see the end results, as I can already see an improvement after just 1 treatment!
Your scar, your way
I treat so many different types of scarring. From minor scars where warts or moles have been removed, acne scars and right through to severe burns and graft tissue, plus pretty much everything in between. Scar treatments are complex, not just because of the physical scarring, but also because of the emotional and mental trauma that can be attached to our scars.
When you come to me for your initial consultation for scar treatments, we will have a chat about your scars, and how they make you feel, and why it’s important to you to have them treated. If you feel that you might like some talking therapy or counselling support when you’re having treatment, then please let me know and I can recommend some local practitioners that may be able to help you. I have found this particularly helpful for my clients that have stories like mine, or if you have self harm scars.
So, be honest with me about how your scars make you feel. My clinic is a safe space for you to be honest and open, and I’ll support you every step of the way.
Are you ready to take the next steps
I hope that you have found my blog on how I discovered the best facial scar treatment for me. I hope it helps you when you’re thinking about your own scarring and treatments.
Nikki Butler is based in Alton, Hampshire. Click on the link below to visit her website.